Low impact sports offer all the benefits of a more energetic activity without putting excess pressure on the muscles and joints. Regular cycling and walking, for example, can reduce the risk of heart disease, improve fitness levels and manage weight, without straining the joints. Here I discuss the unique benefits of these particular types of exercise.
Walking cycling golf dance From hip-hop to ballet, as a low impact sport, dance brings many benefits to our health. It maintains strong bones, builds muscle strength, helps co-ordination and improves posture and balance.
This particular activity is fun and creative. Just put on some music and get moving in your living room. Try something different – salsa and belly dancing are just a few of the more unusual varieties of dance. Check out what classes are available in your area.
Walking is first on my list of low impact sports for very good reason. You don’t need any fancy equipment, it doesn’t cost any money and it doesn’t even require any transport, as would be the case with a number of other activities.
Simply put on some comfy trainers, clothes and then get out into the fresh air. In fact, walking is something we do unconsciously on any given day and is second nature. As a sport it can be enjoyed with friends and family and is actually one of the easiest yet most valuable sports.
Walking is considered a cardiovascular activity, meaning it gets the heart and lungs working in order to supply the muscles with oxygen-rich blood. The muscles need this oxygen in order to move effectively. If you are a beginner – get a few friends together and start off with a few short walks each week.
You could do half an hour at lunch time, for example, or head out after dinner for the same amount of time. If that’s not feasible then just do 10 minutes each day – a quick walk to the shops instead of driving is ideal.
For those who are more experienced, you can do anything from 5km to 20km at a time based on your fitness levels. Remember, for walking to be effective as a sport, you need to walk with a little bit more intentionally that a gentle stroll.
Male hipster courier with bicycle cycling on a road in city;Istock
Cycling is a gentle workout that doesn’t involve any heavy impact on the joints, nor does it put the body under too much stress. Like fastpaced walking, cycling is considered a cardiovascular activity as it benefits the heart and lungs, plus it works lots of different muscles.
In order to get the most out of cycling, it is recommended that you do at least 150 minutes a week. When you break it down, it amounts to 30 minutes, five days a week.
You could achieve this by cycling outdoors if you own a bike or indoors at the local gym. As you get used to this you can gradually increase your time spent on the bike each day. I would also recommend you first speak to a qualified trainer or get medical advice.
Exercise classes like yoga are taken at a slow and relaxing pace, meaning they offer another option for those seeking a low impact sport. These activities also build on strength and flexibility the longer you do them.
The benefits of yoga, in particular, go beyond fitness. Research shows that just three months of yoga can reduce stress, anxiety, fatigue and depression because the activity helps to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Golf is considered a low impact sport as it does not involve too many hard-hitting movements as would be the case in running, for example. A round of golf has the benefit of being outdoors, plus it involves plenty of walking which as mentioned has a positive impact on our health.
The research surrounding golf is also very positive. A study found it to have a positive impact on cardiovascular and respiratory health, plus it improved issues such as depression and anxiety.
People Attending Dance Class In Community Center
From hip-hop to ballet, as a low impact sport, dance brings many benefits to our health. It maintains strong bones, builds muscle strength, helps co-ordination and improves posture and balance. This particular activity is fun and creative. Just put on some music and get moving in your living room.
Try something different – salsa and belly dancing are just a few of the more unusual varieties of dance. Check out what classes are available in your area.
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